Today’s Headlines

  • What Did State Senate Republicans Get in Exchange for Letting the MTA Borrow More Money? (AP)
  • Problem for Car Makers: MTV Marketers Can’t Make Driving Less Miserable and Expensive (NYT)
  • After Just Two Months, 10 Percent of S.I. Bus Riders Use MTA BusTime (TransNat)
  • Two Cops Hospitalized After Livery Cab Driver Collides With Police Cruiser (Post)
  • Wouldn’t It Be Great If the News Devoted This Much Space to the Thousands of Injuries on NYC Streets?
  • Scandal! Crack Investigators at the Post Expose Bell-Less Central Park Bike Rental
  • CB 15 Chair: Don’t Even Think of Making Southern Brooklyn Streets Safer (Sheepshead Bites)
  • Meet Matt Green, Soon to Be the Only Person to Experience Every NYC Street Firsthand (NYT)
  • Five Years Ago, You Never Would Have Seen This on Grand Street (Bklyn Spoke)
  • Kind Streets (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    From the way you buried the Daily News story on 2011 subway train collisions with passengers (“Wouldn’t It Be Great …”), I figured there would have been maybe a dozen. Pete Donohue’s story says there were 147! Yikes. And no word on how many were fatal?

  • The report says 50 of the collisions were fatal.

  • Guest

    I wonder how much of the shift away from driving comes with the shift of more and more teens both growing up in cities or planning to move to cities for college/immediately post-college.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “What Did Senate Republicans Get in Exchange for Letting the MTA Borrow More Money?”

    Let’s see.  Eliminate state aid for the MTA but maintain it for Upstate transit services?  Nope, already done.

    Have a higher local matching share ofr those Medicaid services whose cost is concentrated inside NYC than those services more common in the rest of the state?  Already done.

    Have a STAR aid program for property taxes, which are higher outside the city, but not for local income taxes, which the city has?  Already done,

    Eliminate municipal aid for New York City, but keep it for the rest of the state, even in places that are much more affluent than NYC?  Already done.

    Pass a state law allowing those from the rest of the state to take local government jobs in NYC, but allow localities in the rest of the state to prohibit NYC residents from competing for their local government jobs?  Already done.

    Have NYC’s share of state school aid be less than its share of public school children, even though the city’s children were more needy and even when the city was far less prosperous?  Done for 30 years, until recently.

    Put every friend, relative and supporter on the public payroll in the rest of the state, and then demand a state bailout, just as NYC did back in the bad old days?  Done, and expect them to actually get the bailout, rather than just loans.

  • Albert

    Great headline: “Scandal! Crack Investigators at the Post Expose Bell-Less Central Park Bike Rental”

    When cycling near a pedestrian, car, or another cyclist who has the right of way, I just slow down/stop/deviate from my path as necessary, or I say, “Excuse me” or “On your left” or whatever.  If it’s too late for a bell to help, then better I should use my hands to brake.

    For me, a bell is just a useless, ready-to-be-stolen accessory.  Maybe useful for those that choose to use one, but it shouldn’t be mandatory.  (But I do carry a tea bell in a pocket as a hedge against getting stopped by a cop.)

  • Joe R.

    @45589687e8df260df565d048dab64df2:disqus I feel the same way. I mounted some cheap, very small bells from eBay on my bikes for the sole purpose of avoiding a ticket if I’m ever stopped by police, but I’ve yet to use them even once.  From my point of view needing to use a bell to warn of my presence means I’m not giving a pedestrian or slower cyclist a wide enough berth. My own informal rule for this is at least 5 feet of clearance for every 10 mph of speed (i.e. if I only have 2-3 feet to squeeze by a pedestrian, then I slow to walking speed).
    What I would love to do (and may do eventually) is to have a very loud horn (I like the sound of Amtrak’s K5LA horn) to wake up motorists who do something stupid, like make a right turn when I’m 20 feet behind them.

  • Joe R.

    The NYT article on cars and today’s youth was very interesting. To be sure, the sentiments of the younger generation are present to a lesser degree among those my age (49). I lost interest in even getting a driver’s license in college. First, at the time the 55 mph speed limit was in effect. This made driving boring as heck, assuming I would even be able to stay awake driving that slowly on an open highway. Second, after being used to subways, and taking NJ Transit to commute to college in Princeton (this was cheaper and way faster than driving), I saw that cars were pretty useless in this part of the country from a transportation standpoint, at least to the places I cared to visit. Third, even then compared to public transit, cars were money pits. Fourth, I was already doing errand biking to places up to 20 miles away. This meant the niche where cars might have been useful for me was instead replaced by cycling. Fifth, the roads in the North East are far from the open empty highways depicted in car commercials. Bottom line-cars to me were expensive, slow, smelly, not practical, and not even fun to drive on public roads. What then was the point of owning one? Nowadays these same things are true to an even greater extent.

    I personally think the situation for GM is even more dire than it thinks. It’s already lost the younger generations. Even among the remainder of the population, a car is slowly transforming from a symbol of freedom into a mere transportation appliance. If GM were smart they would start retooling to build high-speed trains, mass-transit EMUs, and even streamlined human-powered vehicles. I especially think the latter will be the next big thing. It’s the next natural step in the evolution of the bicycle. As car ownership decreases, we may even repurpose a portion of our highways in the future to allow HPVs to be used to their full potential.

  • Anonymous

    I had a bell and tried using it, but gave up when I noticed that it is completely ignored. Honking and similar noises are so much part of the background noise of this city that people don’t even register them.

    I now have a bugle horn. It is noisier than the bell, and people occasionally seem to hear it, but it usually does not affect what they were doing anyway. For example, if I honk it to alert  jaywalkers they keep on jaywalking anyway. So what’s the point? The bell/horn is never really a “safety device”–true safety depends on being alert, going at an appropriate speed, and being prepared to break or maneuver as necessary. Hands on the break beats hands on the bell in terms of safety. The only remaining use for the bell/horn is to “punish” pedestrians who don’t respect your right of way, or at least vent a little anger, because they would hardly notice the “punishment” anyway. I rarely use the horn, but keep it to prevent tickets.

    (OK, one other possible use for the bell, again not safety related. In some cases I’ve used it to communicate with the cyclist in front of me, when riding in a group. I don’t have a loud voice.)

  • Albert

    And getting back to the article in the Post, which clearly has cyclist safety in mind when it mentions the risk to our safety we take if we don’t have a “safety” bell:

    “These bikes…had no safety bell, putting riders at risk of a $90 fine from cops.”

    Forget motor vehicles.  The biggest risk we run is…”cops”.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The only remaining use for the bell/horn is to “punish” pedestrians who don’t respect your right of way, or at least vent a little anger, because they would hardly notice the ‘punishment’ anyway.”

    I got the loudest bell I could buy.  I use it to ride at a walking speed behind pedestrians in the bike lane, ringing furiously as I go.

  • Anonymous

    I have a bell, use it all the time–at least three or four times per ride. I use it to, among many other things, alert pedestrians who are walking up to a corner and seem inclined not to notice that I’m going to be there soon as well. I ding it as I approach slow-moving cars when I’m in the bike lane–both in the hope that drivers might hear (and not suddenly pull into the lane) and to alert pedestrians who might be jaywalking between vehicles. It’s the only thing that drivers and pedestrians have gone out of their way to thank me for using.

    I’m consistently amazed how so many things done to make biking safer are greeted as sources of oppression.

  • Albert

    Dporpentine finds a bell useful, as lots of cyclists clearly do.  A courteous ding is certainly better to alert pedestrians than a whistle, which just means, “Get out of my way, I’m not stopping!”

    But cyclists should be allowed to use available alternatives—their voice and their riding style itself—instead of a bell.  One of the salient differences between bicycling and driving is that cyclists aren’t enclosed like drivers; we can communicate with our fellow street users.

    Bells on bicycles shouldn’t be mandatory any more than melody horns on cars.

  • Shemp

    The Post totally misses the fact that these rental companies they profile are illegal businesses altogether, while the ones that have a legit concession to do business on city property (Bike and Roll) comply with all the equipment rules.